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Santo Antônio Hydropower Plant

Santo Antônio Hydropower Plant


  • Author: Zofnass Program
  • Date Posted: 2015
  • Category:
  • Address: Rondônia, BRAZIL

Research director:

Dr. Andreas Georgoulias


Research core team:

Judith Rodriguez, ENV-SP

Cristina Contreras, ENV-SP


Case study written by:

Judith Rodriguez, Research Associate – Core team



Maria Arrasate, MDesS Risk and Relience 15′ 

US $8,590 million investment

3,568 MW

50 bulb type turbines

9 MW/km2 energy density

Power for 45 million people

The Santo Antônio Hydroelectric plant, located in the Madeira River, is one of the largest hydroelectric plants in Brazil. Generating 9 MW/km2, is amongst the 15 largest in the world that have a high relationship between MW generation and size of reservoir. Amongst its main sustainability highlights is the power generation that will utilize Madeira River´s high flow with a reduced reservoir and a low waterfall. Considered a “run-of-the-river” model, this project reduces the area of the reservoir significantly into 421 km2, of which 142 km2 correspond to the natural river channel. This project is considered strategic as it amongst the first projects of the Brazilian Federal Government’s Growth Acceleration Program, aiming to develop northern Brazil by contributing to energy security, job creation, and commercial activity.